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A guilty plea was entered for one of the four defendants charged in connection with the drug-related death of 17-month-old Patrick Nicholas Lerch.
The Beacon Journal reports Allen Kostra, 25, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and other felonies. Prosecutors say he faces up to 11 years in prison.
Kostra accepted a plea deal which includes testifying in the murder trial of the child's mother, 21-year-old Heather Lerch.
Lerch's boyfriend, Randy Legg, 19, and his brother Ronald Legg, 22, are currently awaiting trial.
Police found an active meth lab in a home on St. Ledger Avenue where 17-month-old Patrick Lerch was found unresponsive February 26th. The toddler's death was ruled a homicide from methamphetamine intoxication.
On the Web: www.ohio.com
Indictments handed down today against the four people prosecutors and police say were running a meth house -- one with fumes toxic enough to kill a 17-month old toddler. Little Patrick Lerch died from exposure to meth and the chemicals used to make it, says the Medical Examiner. Now the four arrested for running the meth house -- including Patrick's mother, Heather -- face additional murder charges.
(Summit County Prosecutor) Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh today announced formal charges against four people for the death of 17-month-old Patrick Lerch, who was found unresponsive in an Akron home in late February. Heather Lerch, Ronald Legg, Randy Legg and Allen Kostra were previously indicted on charges of Illegal Manufacture of Drugs (a felony of the first degree), Assembly or Possession of Chemicals to Make Meth (a felony of the second degree), Aggravated Possession of Drugs (a felony of the fifth degree) and Drug Paraphernalia (a misdemeanor of the fourth degree). Today’s indictment adds charges for Patrick’s murder.
The full charges are as follows:
Heather Lerch, 20, of St. Leger Street in Akron
Ronald Legg, 22, of Akron
Randy Legg, 19, St. Leger Street in Akron
Allen Kostra, 24, of Akron
Lerch, Legg, Legg and Kostra will be arraigned on these charges at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 6 in Summit County Court of Common Pleas. If convicted on all charges, Lerch and Ronald Legg could spend the rest of their lives in prison. Randy Legg and Kostra could spend up to 22 years in prison.
The four suspects arrested in connection with running a meth lab in a home where a toddler was found unresponsive pleaded not guilty to drug charges Wednesday morning.
The Beacon Journal reports the toddler's mother Heather Lerch, 20; her boyfriend Randy Legg, 19; Ronald Legg, 22; and Allen Kostra, 24, were unable to post bond after their arraignment in Summit County Common Pleas Court.
The four suspects are being held on $100,000 dollars cash bond.
On February 26, 17-month-old Patrick Lerch was discovered not breathing at what police describe as a meth lab house on Saint Leger Avenue. The toddler died after he was taken to Akron Children's Hospital.
On the Web: www.ohio.com
Bond has been set for four suspects arrested on felony drug charges after police found a meth lab inside a home in Akron.
The Beacon Journal reports the the suspects were not able to post their $100,000 cash bonds.
Officers also found the body of 17-month-old Patrick Lerch unresponsive in his crib Sunday night inside the home in the 500 block of St. Leger Avenue.
The toddler's mother, Heather M. Lerch, 20; Randy Legg, 19; Ronald Legg, 22; and Allen Ray Kostra, 24 are being held in the Summit County Jail.
The arraignments for the four individuals have been scheduled for March 14.
No charges have been filed in connection with the child's death. The case is being investigated as a suspected homicide.
Authorities are waiting for toxicology reports to determine cause of death.
The Summit County Medical Examiner describes the weekend death of an Akron toddler as "suspicious death" and a "possible homicide".
"It's going to take several weeks, probably four to six weeks for further testing before an official ruling has been made," he said.
Guenther says doctors have to look at toxicology results before making a determination.
This comes after four people, including mother, Heather Lerch, 20, of Akron, were arrested this week on drug and child endangering charges.
Authorities say the body of Patrick Lerch was found unresponsive Sunday night at at a home in the 500 block of Saint Ledger Avenue in Akron.
The Beacon Journal reports police discovered a meth lab at the home.
Four Arrested Following Toddler's Death
Akron Police detectives are investigating the death of a toddler in Akron.
The Beacon Journal reports the body of 17-month old Patrick Lerch was found unresponsive Sunday night.
Police discovered a meth lab at the home where he was found in the 500 block of Saint Ledger Avenue in the Goodyear Heights neighborhood.
The toddler's mother, Heather M. Lerch, 20, was arrested along with three other men Monday.
She was arrested on charges of illegal manufacture of drugs, illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, endangering children, among other charges.
She's being held in the Summit County Jail.
The other suspects Ronald S. Legg, 22; Randy L. Legg, 19; Allen R. Kostra, 24, are all facing similar charges. Police say the three men lived at the home with Heather Lerch.
An autopsy was conducted by the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office on Monday and results are pending.
Patrick Gillespie, spokesperson for the medical examiner's office, told the Beacon that Lerch was found in his crib when officers arrived.
The child was taken to Akron Children's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:17 p.m.
On the web: www.Ohio.com
Akron Police detectives are investigating the death of a 17- month old child on St. Leger Avenue in Akron as a suspicious death..
Shortly before 11:00 last night, Patrick Lerch was found unresponsive in his crib by his mother. The baby was transported to Akron Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct and autopsy today.
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